Pacifica Steering wheel alignment

steering
wheels
pacifica

#1

Just took 2004 Pacifa with 78k miles in complaining about a creaking noise when I brake. It is not the brakes (they have been replaced), I have an engine mount replaced (noise still persists), dealer informed me it was the stablizer bar and linkages. So they were replaced. Noise is still there, NOW my steering wheel is not aligned since they did this work.

Dealer insists that there is no way that they had anything with the sudden change in the steering wheel alignment. The steering wheel points slightly left to steer straight.



Is the dealer 100% correct? The steering wheel was fine before the stablizer bar was replaced.



Any suggests on the creaking?


#2

If your stabilizer bar was creaking, it could have possibly been fixed with a little silicone spray lube. The steering wheel can be easily straightened out with an identical minor adjustment to the left and right tie rod adjustment sleeves without changing your vehicle’s toe setting. Your dealer’s mechanic may have done more disassembly to your suspension than the person who you are talking to knows or wants to admit. I would wonder too if your front wheels are still in correct alignment.


#3

A creaking can be in any one of a number of places. The most likely one are the left and right stabilizer bar bushings, but since these have been replaced that’s a non-issue.

Other possibilities could be a strut spring creaking on its pad, a dry ball joint or tie rod end, or possibly the lower control arm inner through bolts. These bolts can become dry and due to the tremendous pressure on them, will creak in their respective bushings. Simply a matter of removing the bolts and greasing them.

Changing the sway bar bushings and end links should not affect alignment at all unless components such as control arms, steering knuckles, etc were loosened or removed. I have never repaired a sway bar on a Pacifica so I’m not familiar with the process.
On some vehicles the sway bar can be a pain to access and may involve loosening those things I mentioned or even the sub-frame, which is the main support for the engine, suspension, etc.

So any movement in those things could throw the alignment off. With the steering wheel offset, the alignment is off due to the repair or possibly someone has whacked a curb. Examine the outside of the front wheels closely for any scuffs or damage and rule that out quickly.


#4

Thanks for the input - one of the first things I checked was the tires and rims, no sign of damage.